April 3
‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.’ Matthew 5:11
Bible reading: Acts 18:1-8 (Go to the Bible passage)
When God speaks to His children, His words often do not sound as sweet as we would like. Often God speaks to humanity as to drowning people. The matter is urgent and time is short.
God never says that we should leisurely contemplate the gospel. God always speaks about the present. ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!’ and, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes (…) because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’ That is powerful language, words that urge to action, to deeds! And whenever servants of God really spoke in the authority of the Holy Spirit, action followed.
Anyone who is fond of himself, cannot obey the gospel because it destroys his selfishness. As soon as he realizes this, he will react. He will brace himself, he will resist, like a bear wakened too early from hibernation. And through the centuries, self-centered people - fake pious and gentile - have resisted God’s clear message in the same way.
So have, throughout the ages, the children of Abraham killed the prophets who God had sent to them. Likewise the Pharisees and the teachers of law killed Jesus by having Him nailed to the cross… And so they will continue to do, the fake pious and the gentiles, and they will do so even more: slander and lie.
Therefore, get used to it that when you - out of a deep love - tell your neighbors of Jesus, you will be slandered and lied about. This will make you a disciple of Jesus!
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